Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Convergence of Technologies: The Perfect Storm for Online Education-Part II

Sometimes it is wise to step back from our everyday lives, seek a quiet place and reflect on how much we all desire that our world would be so much better. Education as a transformational force for a new generation could lead to improvements in many facets of our lives globally if we take the time and the risk involved in letting go of those things in education that tend to hold us back from seeing the need for a new vision in education. The realities of the impact of converging technologies are real and will turn some ideas of education on their heads. With respect to the design of courses for an online experience the idea is to not react to the converging technologies in a convulsive manner but to instead to take advantage of what these technologies bring to making the education experience relevant to the context we live in, challenging and above all inspiring. It is through inspiration that innovation can lead to great things.
In order to accomplish this renewal, we need to be vitally aware of what the context of the present world is because designing online courses demands this awareness. The following two YouTube videos bring out some of the ideas that we need to be aware of:

This video has been updated a number of times and more frequently since 2010 because it is recognized by the authors that the converging of technologies is accelerating. The following video is dated but they have got it right in that a new vision of online education will have a transformational effect on the way that courses are designed and delivered.
So, this brings us to where should we go with this? There are a number of startling conclusions that we can come to: (1) There will be some courses that will no longer be taught because the skills that they attempt to teach will no longer be necessary because they will be done by computer AI. Therefore, in our societies some occupations/professions will no longer be done. Even in professions such as medicine, surgeries may be partially accomplished as a result of the converging of nanotechnology and robotics by robots. The one caveat here is that the role of surgeons will be transformed to meet the new reality. (2) Pedagogy must change in order to synch with a new vision for education. The industrial model and the pedagogy that came from it will be discarded.The best practices in education will be transformed and will become very fluid in order to synch with converging technologies. We don't have a crystal ball or can we predict the future but all the signs of the perfect storm in online education are there. The real question is whether or not you are ready for the ride? More later....

No comments: